Nicole Franzel was crowned the winner of “Big Brother 18,” making her the first female champ in five years and the first woman to ever win over a man in the final two. She tells us that she expected a close vote and she thinks her jury answers and final speech may have been what won it for her.
How does it feel to be the first female winner of ‘Big Brother’ to beat a male contestant?
Nicole Franzel: Making BB history, that’s just a sweet feeling. I had no idea that statistic even existed. It’s just a cool thing, it’s so cool. And it was such a close thing, 5-4, so it just feels like a good, solid win.
Did you have a sense during the jury questions that you were going to win?
No, I didn’t! But Paul looked over at me and said, ‘Crap, I don’t think I did well.’ Honestly, I tend to black out during that stuff, so I didn’t realize how Paul was answering his questions or how I was answering my questions, i just wanted it to be over with.
You don’t know what they’re going to ask, so whatever comes out of your mouth, you’re just hoping it’s convincing. But no, I didn’t — I thought the jury seemed very receptive to what I was saying. I saw some head nods, which I thought was a positive thing, but I just thought it was going to be close.
We feel like you won it during the Q&A, that you did better than Paul did.
That’s so crazy! He’s so smart and so good at speaking, if you can’t tell by his speech, but his speech he had time to prepare and the Q&A he didn’t. But I did hear that Day switched her vote after the Q&A and speeches, so maybe that is how I won.
A lot of fans thought Paul played a better game and should have won, how do you respond to that?
I haven’t been on social media, I’m not allowed, but I’m not going to respond to that. Everyone’s allowed to have their opinion, how everyone wants to react to it — it is what it is. I’m not going to entertain any of that because I think he played a great game, I have nothing bad to say about Paul’s game and yeah. I don’t know. Fans will be fans.
If you won the final HOH, were you really going to take Paul over James?
I was going to take Paul just because if I was going to lose to anybody, I wanted to lose to Paul because I could live with that. I thought he played a great game. I don't care if I lose to somebody like that, who played their heart out. I felt like we were complete opposites -- one time on the block, six times on the block; quiet girl in the corner, motormouth boy.
We played completely different games and as a superfan, I would have respected him beating me. I would have been able to go on with my life, so in the long run, my heart decided that I was going to take Paul. I looked at Paul, we told each other on the scales, no matter what, we did our little hand signal ... I believed him and I hope he believed me. He maybe thinks I wouldn't have taken him, but I honest to God would have.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently this summer?
I could have had a little better social game, but having a good social game can also put a target on your back. A lot of people this summer were just drama, just drama queens here and there, whether girl or boy. I just basically talked to Corey all the time because I didn't feel obligated to talk about people when I was with him, we just had a good time. So I could have probably secured more votes in the jury if I'd had a better social game ... but I guess I really wouldn't change anything because Paul probably wouldn't have taken me if I'd played a social game like Corey did, everybody loves him.
What's next for you and Corey? Is there going to be a relationship outside of the house?
I don't know. I haven't been able to talk to him much. We have bond that's super strong and it was pretty much instant connection, so I think no matter what we'll stay best friends, but we live so far away that we'd have to have a serious thought if we were going to do anything. Definitely take things slow and talk and see how things work out.
Would you go back on 'Big Brother' if they asked you?
Yeah, I would never turn "Big Brother" down, it's not in my blood. Always.